NRA Pushing For Elimination Of Crime Spree-Solving Gun Registry

A bill to eliminate Michigan’s state gun registration law is snaking its way through the statehouse, despite clear evidence that the registry was critical to solving a devastating shooting spree.

Michigan law currently requires all gun sales to be registered with state authorities, closing the so-called “gun show loophole” in federal law that allows the massive number of private gun sales to evade the FBI database. The legislation eliminating the state registration law and accompanying gun database, HB 5225, has passed the Michigan House but is currently languishing in the Senate. Governor Rick Snyder (R) has said he will not sign the law. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is pressuring the Senate to act and Snyder to change his position before the legislative term ends.

According to a December report by the Detroit Free Press, the state gun database was critical in solving a series of roughly 24 shootings that terrorized drivers on the major I-96 highway:

The detective in charge of the investigation said there is no way an arrest could have been made so quickly without the pistol registry database, said Sgt. Christopher Hawkins, legislative liaison for the Michigan State Police.

But House Bill 5225, which passed the House in June in a 74-36 vote, would require destruction of the database which matches the make and model of each handgun sold in Michigan with the name and address of the purchaser, Hawkins said. …

Hawkins said the state police quickly plowed through more than 2,000 tips in the I-96 case by matching information received in tips against the pistol registry database. From bullet fragments, “we knew what type of pistol we were looking for,” he said. “The pistol registered to that address matched the type of pistol we were looking for where we ultimately found the suspect.”

Both Michigan police and a number of mayors from the state’s major cities oppose the repeal of the gun registry, citing the fact that “tens of thousands of private sales of handguns would take place each year with no paperwork and no questions asked.”